Health Commissioner Declares Code Red Extreme Heat Alert for Thursday through Sunday; First of the Season

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Health Commissioner Declares Code Red Extreme Heat Alert for Thursday through Sunday; First of the Season

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contacts:
Arinze Ifekauche: Arinze.Ifekauche@baltimorecity.gov 

BALTIMORE, MD (July 20, 2022) -- With temperatures expected to rise in the Baltimore region and the heat index forecasted to reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit for the next few days, Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa has issued a Code Red Extreme Heat Alert for Thursday, July 21st through Sunday, July 24th.  The heat index is a measure of air temperature and relative humidity and indicates how hot it feels to the human body. This is Baltimore City’s first Code Red Extreme Heat Alert of the season.

“Excessive heat is the leading weather-related killer in the United States. The effects of extreme heat are exacerbated in urban areas, especially when combined with high humidity and poor air quality,” said Dr. Dzirasa. “Extreme heat is particularly dangerous for young children, older adults, and those with chronic medical conditions. I encourage all residents to take the necessary steps to protect themselves as well as their families, neighbors, and pets.”

The Health Commissioner may declare a Code Red Extreme Heat Alert during periods of heat that are severe enough to present a substantial threat to the life or health of vulnerable Baltimore residents. Once a Code Red Extreme Heat declaration is made, activities are undertaken to encourage safety. Even on days when a Code Red Extreme Heat Alert is not declared, it is important to take precautions.

ShopRite Howard Park (4601 Liberty Heights Ave) will be open as a community cooling center during their regular hours on Thursday through Sunday. Residents seeking relief from the heat can also visit their local Enoch Pratt Free Library branch during their regular hours. 

The Health Department’s Division of Aging will open the following locations as cooling centers on Thursday, July 21st and Friday, July 22nd from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.:

  • Harford Senior Center
    4920 Harford Rd. 
    (410) 426-4009
  • Hatton Senior Center
    2825 Fait Ave.
    (410) 396-9025
  • Sandtown Winchester Senior Center
    1601 Baker St. 
    (410) 396-7724
  • Oliver Senior Center
    1700 N Gay St.
    (410) 396-3861
  • Zeta Center for Healthy and Active Aging
    4501 Reisterstown Rd.  
    (410) 396-3535 

The Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services will open the following locations as cooling centers. Days and times vary.

  • My Sisters Place Women’s Center (women and children only)
    17 W Franklin St.
    Thursday - Sunday
    10:30 am-5:30 pm 
     
  • Manna House
    435 E. 25th St. 
    Thursday and Friday
    11:30 am-3:00 pm 
     
  • Beans & Bread
    402 S. Bond St 
    Thursday and Friday
    9:00 am-1:00pm 
     
  • Franciscan Center
    101 W. 23rd St. 
    Thursday and Friday
    10:00 am –1:00 pm 

The Housing Authority of Baltimore City will open the following locations as cooling centers on Thursday, July 21st and Friday, July 22nd from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.:

  • Brooklyn Homes
    4140 10th St.
  • Cherry Hill Homes
    2700 Spelman Rd.

As a reminder, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, when visiting a cooling center please wear a face mask and maintain social distancing when possible.

You should not visit a cooling center if you have the following symptoms:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea 

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should call ahead to a healthcare professional and mention your symptoms.

The Baltimore City Recreation and Parks pools are open. Registration online or by phone is encouraged. All guests must register in advance online or by phone to secure a pool reservation. Guests are advised to arrive 5-10 minutes prior to their reservation to check-in. After a 15-minute grace period, pool staff will accept walk-up participants.

During the Code Red Extreme Heat season, the Baltimore City Health Department recommends that City residents:

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine.
  • Reduce outside activities.
  • Stay inside during the hottest time of day (11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.).
  • Seek relief from the heat in air-conditioned locations.
  • Check on older, sick, or frail people in your community who may need help in the heat.
  • Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles, even for short periods of time.
  • Watch out for signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Seek medical help immediately if these symptoms occur:
    • Confusion
    • Nausea
    • Lightheadedness
    • High body temperature with cool and clammy skin
    • Hot, dry, flushed skin
    • Rapid or slowed heartbeat

City residents who want cooling center information on Code Red Extreme Heat Alert days can call 311. Individuals having a heat-related medical emergency, or who are experiencing the signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke should call 911.

Information on Code Red Extreme Heat declarations will be shared on the Health Department’s website, Health Department social media (Twitter: @Bmore_Healthy and Facebook: @BaltimoreHealth), the Baltimore City 311 line, and with local news media.

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With the heat index forecasted to reach as high as 105 degrees Fahrenheit in the Baltimore region again tomorrow, Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa has extended the previously announced Code Red Extreme Heat Alert through Tuesday August 9th. The heat index is a measure of air temperature and relative humidity and indicates how hot it feels to the human body. 

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